A. Complaint by way of a telephone call
If you telephone to voice concerns about our service then whoever takes the call will refer it to Robert Gray. If he is available he will speak to you immediately to take details of your concerns and to agree with you what action he will take to investigate them.
He will use his best endeavours to resolve the matter to your satisfaction immediately. If that is not possible then he will have to read the file and discuss the matter with the fee earner before coming back to you. During the course of the initial telephone conversation he will let you know how long that is likely to take. He will also agree with you whether he should telephone you with his response and if appropriate proposals for rectifying matters or whether you would prefer him to write to you. In either case you will receive a response within seven days unless due to the fee earner’s extended absence it will be impossible to meet that deadline. If so the timetable for a response will be discussed with you during the initial call. If you call to make a complaint and Mr Gray is not available he will return your call within twenty-four hours and will follow the procedure detailed above.
B. Written complaint
A written complaint may be made by way of a letter, fax or email. Any communication should be addressed directly to Mr Gray. If any written complaint is received by another member of staff then it will be referred to Mr Gray immediately.
Mr Gray will review your written complaint, read the file and discuss the matter with the fee earner and let you have his written response, including any proposals for remedial action with seven days.
If the fee earner is unavailable for an extended period due to absence from the office on holiday or for other reasons then Mr Gray may not be able to respond within seven days. If not he will contact you to let you know how long it will be before he is able to respond in detail. He may at that stage have to write to you for further information prior to discussing the matter with the fee earner concerned.
We trust that you appreciate that in connection with both telephone and written complaints it would be inappropriate for Mr Gray to respond in detail without first reading the file and discussing the matter with the fee earner.
C. Review of your complaint
If you are not satisfied with the explanation and suggestions for remedial action made by Mr Gray then you may come back to him with your further comments and suggestions as to how you feel the matter should be resolved. If having done so you are still not satisfied then the following courses of action are open to you.
D. Time to respond
We are obliged to respond to your complaint within 8 weeks of receiving notification from you. As you will have noted from the above our aim is to do so rather more quickly than that.
E. The Legal Ombudsman
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our investigation of you complaint or we fail to respond within 8 weeks you
• have the right to bring your complaint to the attention of the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted by post at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. The telephone number is 0300 555 0333 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of the powers of the Legal Ombudsman to investigate complaints and to oblige us to provide remedies to satisfy complaints can be found on the website www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Available on the same website is a downloadable leaflet entitled “What To Do If You Have A Complaint”.
Ordinarily, you can ask The Legal Ombudsman look at your complaint if it meets all three of the conditions below:
1. The problem or when you found out about it, happened after 5 October 2010; and
2. You refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within either of the following:
• Six years of the problem happening; or
• Three years from when you found out about it; and
3. You refer your complaint to the Ombudsman within six months of our final response to your complaint
Any remedial action which Mr Gray suggests may include asking the fee earner to take a certain course of action in respect of your matter to ensure that it is progressed smoothly or, with your consent, transferring the file to another fee earner. In either case all action subsequently taken will be closely supervised by Mr Gray. Remedial action may also include offering to remit the whole or part of the bill or to make a payment of the nature that the Legal Ombudsman could order (as to which see their website referred to above).
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like alleged dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You will note that our website confirms that we are voluntary signatories of The Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter.
You can contact the SRA at www.sra.org.uk